Comedian Jasmin “Watch Jazzy” Brown is flipping the script on what it means to be a comedian. The 29-year-old got her start with her viral characters like Toya Turnup, Termite and Reggie on Instagram. She’s parlayed that into a stand-up comedy career that has now managed to land her a hosting gig with Kevin Hart’s new show “Laugh Out Loud.”
The original comedy series is set to air for 10 episodes on Bounce TV this summer, beginning Monday, May 6 at 9 p.m. Brown will host the show, which will feature curated content from Hart’s digital platform of the same name as the show.
“It’s really exciting,” she told Atlanta Black Star Friday, May 3. “This is something you can watch with the family. It’s family-friendly, but it’s still funny and it’s still raw and you’ll get to see Kevin Hart in a new light.”
Brown explained that she got involved in the show during the pilot but she had not been sure that her involvement with the program would go beyond that.
“After filming, it just went so amazing, and a couple months later they sent the offer back. But it was pitched to me as I could be replaced. … When they came back with an offer, that was really exciting to me,” she said. “After I got that call, it was really cool.”
She added that while she doesn’t appear in any sketches, she’s hopeful she can make a splash in season 2.
Brown’s comedic chops have caught the attention of 1 million followers on Instagram, but she admitted she was initially focusing on being an actor, not a comedian. However, a hosting gig at Funny Bone comedy club in Virginia Beach forced her to kill time when headliner Jess Hilarious showed up late to her two shows.
“I fell in love with it,” Brown said, looking back.
And while her online success has since led her to opportunities like the one with Hart’s show as well as touring with the likes of Marlon Wayans, breaking into the comedy business via Instagram is not without its criticism.
“I feel like if you come from the social media, people automatically look at you like you don’t work hard, like you don’t deserve to be in your position, or, you didn’t have to go through some of the things that a lot of the comics who have been in the game a long time have been through.
“No, I never had to do an amateur night to get my name out there,” she admitted. “I’m fortunate enough to build a foundation to do my own comedy on. But that’s hard too, because my amateur night is on social media!”
Brown also disclosed that she had some famous naysayers initially, but upon seeing her stand-up they’ve come around.
“It was a constant struggle for people to take you serious — especially the O.G.s in the game,” she said. “But I will say that people who look at social media comedians a certain way, always apologize to me after they see my set and after I work with them. From Deon Cole to Donnell Rawlings to DeRay Davis all came up to me afterward and said, ‘Hey, you’re dope. I didn’t expect this much of you because you’re from social media, but you’re really good, keep going, this is a great lane for you.’ Every time someone comes to my shows that’s been in the game a long time, they always have a conversation with me afterwards. “
One comic she didn’t have to prove a thing to, however, was Jamie Foxx. During the taping of “LOL,” she got a FaceTime call from the actor, who raved about her Toya Turnup character known for her “rent due” catchphrase.
“He’s saying that I was dope and things like that. It still feels so unreal,” Brown explained. “I didn’t even know he knew who I was. … Jamie Foxx, I grew up watching Jamie Foxx … Talking to him and for him to tell me he likes my work is not only just a sign that I should keep doing it but it was an overall confidence booster too.”
The confidence boost is likely going to keep climbing, as Brown is remaining booked and busy with her comedy work.
She’s gearing up to perform in Jackson, Mississippi, as Toya Turnup on May 5, and she’s also going to perform solo for the first time in Miami on May 19 as she celebrates her birthday.